Day 24- Wednesday, September 05, 2012- Fishing Barkley Sound
Fog! Dense fog. By the time we woke, got out of our slip, bought fuel and started for the fishing grounds it was 8AM but for the best as the fog was pretty intense and we needed radar but we could tell the sun was out and working on burning it off.
At the fuel dock, I got to talking with the manager there. Evidently, people “tip” him with fish but he’s not too crazy about having to deal with them. For some reason, he was kind enough to offer me two nice brill fish. I don’t even know what a brill is or even if I’m spelling it right. It looks like a little halibut. He explained that it’s a light flaky white meat and is even preferred over halibut. So, off I go with another costly load of fuel (only $5.09 a gallon, yeah…it’s getting cheaper) and my two brill fish. I tipped him with beef jerky. We’re both happy.
We only ran off shore about five miles. The swells were impressive and we’re getting thrown around a bit. I do fine but Val and Connor struggle when things get wild. Val fed the fish again but her unique baiting method worked as she caught a nice King Salmon shortly thereafter. We didn’t stay out there too long as we were dragging the bottom for halibut and lost yet another downrigger set up and Val was greener than the lush forest so we high tailed it back into the inside protected waters.As we rounded the lighthouse corner back into Ucluelet to spend another boat load of money at the fisheries store, the fog burned off and the warm sun lifted our spirits even higher. We tied up the Pioneer Boatworks Fishing Supply dock, delivered the remaining balance on my credit card to them, and then re-tied my downrigger equipment while Val made the most wonderful fish tacos. We showered on the boat, topped off the water tanks, picked up a few last minute groceries and set out for the wilderness again. We much prefer a quiet cove as opposed to a marina, although we all liked the Ukee Dock.
Fish, fish, fish…that’s all my wife wants to do. Thank you, Lord! But, is there any limit? We tried fishing as soon as we got out of Ucluelet...coho fishing, king fishing, halibut fishing, ling cod fishing, red snapper fishing…I can’t pry the rod n’ reel out of her hands! I just want to sit on the back deck and read a book, but no, she just wants to fish, fish, fish! I’m so glad she didn’t catch but one so I didn’t have to clean yet more fish! (Seriously, I love it when she catches fish…I love eating them!)
Finally, very late in the afternoon, I convinced her that we should find a quiet cove and have a nice meal and a quiet night of no-fishing rest. We through the hook down Refuge Island in Toqauart Bay and guess what she said next, “let’s take the dinghy over there and jig.” I said “NO!” I actually sat on the deck, basked in the warm sun, enjoyed an icy cold beer, and finished my book. Alas, my idea of cruising!
All evening long, during my fish-strike sabbatical, during dinner, and even as I type, there are two whales feasting right beside us. They are so close, their blow is wafting over the boat and they have bad breath! It smells like a fish factory! They sure are amazing creatures and we all exclaimed “whoa, did you see that?” repeatedly during the evening. In addition to the whales, there were several seals and huge sea lion working the feeding grounds we seem to be anchored in. There are little fish jumping all around…perhaps a hundred in the air at any given second…looks and sounds like boiling water. Are the pilchards? Herring? I don’t know. There are eagles making their unique sound in the tree tops and seagulls competing for the attention too. This is a beautiful cove. When we were here last year, we spent hours watching the bears on the beach and hope they show up at low tide.
Well, there you have it folks. Have a great night.